The 5 Worst Decisions That Have Left Manchester United in This State
The 2-0 win over Swansea in the league is the only thing Manchester United fans have had to smile about in January. After losing to Spurs on New Year's Day, United went on to get knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round, were beaten by Chelsea, then this week were knocked out of the League Cup.
Having avoided Manchester City in the draw for the semi-final, it appeared as though United's route to the final would be simple. Surely they would be able to beat a team in the relegation zone over two legs?
Apparently not. So unless they can miraculously win the Champions League this season, all hopes of a trophy are gone, with a fourth-placed finish the best United can hope for. So where did it all go wrong?
Transfer Dealings in the Summer
Manchester United were in desperate need of some world-class talent to help boost the title-winning team. Whilst winning the league had been a fairly easy accomplishment for United, it was clear that without Sir Alex Ferguson, following his retirement in the summer, things would be more difficult this season.
All the teams around us in the table strengthened their squads significantly, whilst United let transfer target after transfer target slip away. First Thiago went to Bayern Munich, then United bid a criminally small amount for Cesc Fabregas to end the hopes of signing him, then they missed the deadline for Daniele de Rossi. The list goes on and on.
In the end, United settled for Marouane Fellaini, who, despite having good games against United over the years, certainly wasn't the world-class boost we needed.
With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie spending so much time out injured, the decision not to seal the deal on proper talent this summer has been costly.
The upheaval surrounding Sir Alex Ferguson's departure from the club after over 26 years in charge was always going to be huge, but something that could have helped it be a smoother transition for the players was if the club kept the backroom staff the same.
Eric Steele, who had been credited with the turnaround in David de Gea's form, having gone from what people referred to as a "dodgy keeper" to the PFA Goalkeeper of the Season, was replaced by Chris Woods. Steele had gone as far as learning Spanish so that he could communicate with De Gea and it seemed entirely unnecessary for him to leave.
Rene Meulensteen was the greatest loss though, given what a fantastic job he had done with the club from the youth teams to the first-team squad. Ferguson wasn't hands-on in training, so Meulensteen resumed this role. Whilst David Moyes offered Meulensteen a position, the Dutchman believed his position would be marginalised, so declined. What a difference he could have been making behind the scenes this season though.
July 1st 2007. That was the date of the last time Manchester United signed a midfielder before splashing the cash on Marouane Fellaini last summer.
In the six seasons that followed, United won the league four times, which papered over the cracks nicely. United fans could see this area of the pitch was an obvious weakness, with the club even resorting to dragging Paul Scholes out of retirement to fill the gap, but Sir Alex Ferguson dragged us on through regardless.
Quality in other areas of the pitch has compensated for our obvious failings in midfield, where Michael Carrick has been our only consistant performer over the past couple of seasons. With Carrick's form waning this season, as well as injuries to other players capable of playing this position, we are paying the price for not having brought in top-quality midfielders before now.
Appointing David Moyes
When the shock news started to filter through that Sir Alex Ferguson was planning on retiring and David Moyes was the favourite to replace him, fans could hardly believe it.
When Ferguson was given the United job, the club were in the relegation zone, yet he still had league titles, cup wins and European trophies on his CV. Now, with the club as champions, they were going to appoint a man who hadn't won a thing.
But he was "The Chosen One," as that cringeworthy banner reminds us, with Ferguson believing Moyes was the best man for the job.
Moyes may well go on to turn things around and it is too soon to write him off, but it's safe to assume that a manager with experience of winning titles with big clubs would be doing a better job than the current manager is.
Sir Alex Ferguson and the Rock of Gibraltar
In 2003, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sue John Magnier over the ownership of the racehorse The Rock of Gibraltar. This was the end of Manchester United as we know it.
Magnier owned 29 percent of the club and following this feud opted to sell United to the Glazer family who plunged the club into debt. This has restricted the club's ability to compete with rival clubs in the transfer market, most notably Chelsea and Manchester City, despite generating more money than almost every sports club in the world.
Ferguson's ability as manager was enough to compensate for the lack of funds to spend on players, with United having won more titles since the Glazers bought the club than all the other teams put together. However, now United are without Ferguson, we are witnessing clearly how badly the Glazer ownership has affected our club. They are the root cause of everything that is going wrong and before fans ever turned on the manager and players, it is the Glazers that should feel the brunt of our anger.
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